There are many types of learning gaps and every student has different circumstances, but blended and online learning courses are unique in that they are flexible in filling the needs of many students. Some students need more attention and assistance, while other students are more independent in their schoolwork. In a standard school, it may be difficult for a single teacher to fill all of the needs of their students at the same time. In contrast, an online learning environment enables teachers to work with students to create the best experience for students on an individual level, as well as for the entire class.
I attended a brick and mortar school from kindergarten through my freshman year of high school and transferred to ORVA as a sophomore. Throughout my time at a brick and mortar school, I felt I was being babysat rather than being educated. I felt I was receiving a sub-par education and that I was being “ripped off” of my education, so I began searching for alternatives. I came across online high school and knew that it would be a great option for me. Today, I feel that my time is no longer being wasted in class and I am able to learn in an environment that is encouraging and positive.
Online courses can be diverse in topic and style, but there are some key characteristics that create ideal learning environments. The balance between structure and flexibility is one of the most important qualities when considering a learning environment. Flexibility in access to courses (being able to use a laptop, desktop, or a mobile device) and in the pacing of the curriculum is very important, and it allows a variety of students with different circumstances to receive an education whenever and wherever is best for them. In order to maintain organization, though, courses must have structure. Guidelines and accountability are a must for learning effectively. Balancing structure and flexibility fosters a positive and inclusive learning environment.
Milton Freewater, OR
Oregon Virtual Academy
Walla Walla Community College